Because what’s that souvenir bottle of wine good for without a gorgeous platter of sweet and savory snacks?
After El Bonita Motel was tagged in an especially wholesome Instagram post, we thought we’d bring you the lowdown on upping your in-suite snack game.
As per usual, our Napa adventure ends with a cheeseboard I cobbled together in our hotel room. Thanks to @elbonitamotel for having fruit at breakfast, @worldsofflavor for so many pocketable treats, @valmcantu for the pickles, and Uncle TK for the bread. The only thing missing is a proper cheese knife- right, @mdkrigbaum?!?!
Thanks for the inspiration, Sarah. Do we call it a ‘cheese’ board if there’s no meat, and ‘charcuterie’ when there is? We might just call it a ‘snack board’ while we’re at it, or ‘pairs-well-with-this-fancy-new-red board.’ Cheese and charcuterie boards are a veritable art. So if you’re highly sensitive to their debasement…. Here is your official warning to look away. At least we can promise it’ll taste great (if nothing else).
Procure your wine of choice
Red’s a safe bet. There are so many wineries in the Napa Valley — and there are a handful with open tasting rooms right here in St. Helena. To pair with your soon-to-be-constructed snack board (if we’re calling it that), here’s a handy guide to your red wines. TL; DR: opt for something mild, like a merlot or pinot noir. Those are generally the blanket crowd-pleasers.
Fun fact: Yao Ming owns a #winery and tasting room. And it’s right down the street from us in #StHelena. ? #Repost @yaofamilywines ・・・ The College Basketball Tournament is coming! Join us in the tasting room throughout the month of March: We’ll be showing all the games on our 60-inch TVs, offering food specials from Gotts, a patio cigar lounge, and even a bracket competition where you can win a case of wine! (Yao will not be in the tournament…but you get the idea).
Choose the cornerstones of your snacking
A.k.a. your meats and/or cheeses. Check out this blog post for tips on selecting the right meats and cheeses for your needs. We recommend you find these at the Napa Valley Olive Oil Company or local Sunshine Foods.
What’s the first thing you think of when you hear ‘bar food’? Salt! In all its incarnations. Depending on your palate, we would recommend fresh cured olives, marcona almonds, roasted cashews, pecans, and pickles. Oh, and don’t forget your fresh-baked bread and/or crackers — you’ll need some sort of vehicle for all the cheese and charcuterie you picked out earlier.
Delicate and sweet touches
You’ll need fruit! Obviously grapes, red or green will do, but apples and berries are another great addition. We won’t hold it against you if you nab a few from our morning breakfast spread at our St Helena motel (though you might find more exotic options at the farmers’ market). Other old-standbys include dried figs, dates, and apricots. Beyond the vine, a good cherry or other-berry spread will round out that bread and crackers. And if you’re feeling fancy, make like Sarah did and break up some chocolate or candy bark for good measure.